A deconstructed Christmas

For years and years our Christmas has been more or less the same with the odd ebb and flow.  I wrote the cards and Ash stuck the labels on the envelopes; we wrapped the presents together but with him making sure that wrapping was neat and tidy; we had friends over on Christmas Eve; we went to those same friends on Christmas Day; sometimes Jake was with us and sometimes not; my mum and step dad joined us to start with and then just my mum; Ash and I bought each other surprise presents and so on.  This year it's different.  I've written the cards and stuck the labels on the envelopes all by myself; we're at home just the two of us on Christmas Day; my mum is cosily ensconced in her care home where they're having a party on Christmas Day and so things change.  Mostly things are different because Ash has dementia and, if I was inclined, I could blame all of it on that but in reality it's other changes in addition to the dementia which have meant we're on our own on the big day and that event in itself will make life so much easier for him.  No stress over whether he will be able to join in, no confusion because of the number of people there, no worry just because my Mum makes him nervous.  None of that so all of those changes that are happening this Christmas are a great help and not something to be sad about.  We'll still get to see everyone but on a less grand scale and starting yesterday with a visit to my mum including lunch and watching the 6 year old open his present from her.  We took crackers, ate in the 'bar' at the home and had a mini Christmas Day with her.  Today I may wrap the presents (and goodness knows what they'll look like but it's the thought that counts), next week I'll be singing carols in the village while Ash stays at home and so on.  Our actual Christmas is to be spread over five days and I'm really looking forward to every minute of it.  It will be gentle, done at a manageable speed and with no great expectations of jollification so, consequently, no pressure.  I really believe that enjoyment is a state of mind and here I have a choice.  I can choose to be sad that we're not having our huge, traditional Christmas Day with family and friends or I can choose to look forward to an alternative and work out how to make it special.  I choose to look forward to a deconstructed Christmas which will be no less enjoyable just because it's different.
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Lesley said…
I am with you, Jane. I actually prefer things to be spread out a bit and lower key - less pressure and less hard work!
dasntn said…
Hi Jane

Looks like you have a very sensible plan for Christmas, taking it gently. We are going out to a small restaurant on Christmas day - we have gone out for the last couple of years, we'll have to see if it still works OK for my wife. Hope you have as good a time as possible.

Jane said…
Think we will David as most things seem to be 'mind over matter' as far as I can see and I really do think that life in general is what you make it. It'll certainly be different to the full on Christmases we've had in the past but that doesn't mean it won't work well for this moment in time. Hope yours works too.
Jane said…
Also, this most definitely isn't how I would prefer to be spending Christmas but that doesn't make it bad just the right thing to do for now.